Light Of My Life

Today is a good day. Why? Because for the next two days, you do not have to worry about anything. No deadlines, no waiting for the clock to hit five, no driving home during rush hour. The only thing you have to worry about is where are you going to eat on Saturday night and what are you going to order.

I think I’m restaurant’d out and will cook at home this weekend for the first time this half of the year. I am overdue for a Farmer’s Market and Chipotle Sunday morning.

It is funny how l was talking about Marlowe in my last post and my latest dining experience so happened to be it’s sister restaurant.

Abby, the fire of my loins, took me out for a spectacular birthday dinner on Wednesday. We have a collective list of restaurants we want to try in San Francisco and Park Tavern happens to be one of them.

Located in the beautiful North Beach district, it is an upscale American Tavern that offers a satisfying menu of seasonal, market-driven seafood and meat dishes for every palate.

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We ended up just dropping the car off at valet because North Beach is the worst for parking, I did not even want to deal with it.

I love the ambiance of Park Tavern, it was nicer than your average restaurant but still felt comfortable and not too stiff.

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Everyone there was so pleasant and made us feel right at home. The waiter was charming and kept asking us if we wanted pictures of x, y or z. We might of took him up on a few offers. 🙂

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I stole this picture from Abby’s Instagram. I asked her if she would be mad if I ordered a Shirley Temple. When a eight year old orders one, nobody bats an eye. When a grown up (like myself, giggle giggle) orders one, the whole world goes crazy. Luckily, Abs was extremely accepting of my love for grenadine.

Go big or go home, right guys?

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I do not even know where to start with the food, we ordered almost everything on the menu. Both of us were huge fans of Marlowe, so I know we were in for a real treat.

First up is the Park Tavern fries. What is that on the sides, you ask? Oh, just a nice dollop of truffle and a soft boiled egg topped with caviar. Yes, this might be the most fanciest fries I ever had in my life. Fancy and delicious. My technique was dipping the fry in the egg/caviar and topping it off with truffle. It was unbelievable and I had a dream about it that same night. I wish I was kidding.

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Abs never had gnocchi (I know, what), so it was a must. Another pan-seared gnocchi dish in my corner, I am a lucky girl. This parisienne gnocchi was seared with wild mushrooms, farmstead blue and petit thyme.

I still can not believe how incredible this was.

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Park Tavern is known for their Brussels sprout chips, which I did not realize was a thing. Kale chips are so 2010, these are the new baked greens and I am excited to try to make these at home.

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She switched from her Caipirinha to a Chardonnay (or Sauvignon, who knows or cares) and I went from my very alcohol (ha) Shirley Temple to a nice Riesling. It is my favorite and the only wine I do not get tired of.

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The most amusing part of our night (besides us googly eyeing each other) was the table next to ours. Seated were two posh middle aged couples that we made small talk with and ended up being best friends by the end of the night. One of the women loved my camera and asked to take pictures of us. She just bought her first DSLR and caught the photography bug.

I obliged.

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I ordered the “Poulet Noir” to share and holy presentation. They said it would be revealed as a whole chicken but this was another level. This was served with black truffle, butter braised baby spinach and roasted peewee potatoes.

The spinach was phenomenal with the subtle taste of the truffle.

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Abby chose the caramelized sea scallops w/ yellow curried carrot puree, sunchoke barigoule, breakfast radish & chrysanthemum greens. For being someone who is not a fan of seafood, I had one whole scallop and Abs was so proud of me. I have to admit that it was great.

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What is a birthday without creme brûlée? This unique custard was made with local TCHO chocolate, chili, lemon zest and sea salt. A rich, chocolate biscotti was served on the side. I wish I did not eat this so fast because our waiter surprised us and brought out a complimentary carrot cake with cream cheese frosting as a birthday treat.

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I am surprised I was able to get out of my chair after. If you count, that is seven different dishes I consumed in two hours. I could not have done it without Abby sharing with me. I have to say thank you again, Abby, for the fantastic dinner. Love you to the moon and back. 🙂

We wrapped up our meal around 9:30p and had some fun with the valet guys and a stranger before heading home.

And that, my friends, concludes my five-day-after-birthday dinner meal with the ever-so-special Abs.

Do you ever still order Shirley Temples? Try to make me feel better, please.

Which dish would you be most excited to try?

Indian Summer

Did anyone watch the Real World growing up? I haven’t tuned in for many years but I am going to watch the next season because it is based in San Francisco this time!

I know this because I saw them and their entourage of cameras. Their house is down the street from my job and rumor has it that they spend a lot of time on Polk St. Maybe this will be my time to shine and a movie director will see me walk by in the background, call me up and put me in his next Blockbuster hit. 😉

It has been SO HOT this weekend that I can not even bare it. Being a San Francisco native means that 60° degree weather calls for shorts and a tank top. Sunday was a whopping 88°. I didn’t even know what to do with myself besides lie in the grass at Dolores and melt the day away.

Good thing I had such beautiful people to surround me. 🙂

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I was battling myself and wondering if I should show you what I ate. Conclusion is that this is kind of a food blog and it would be weird without even one picture of food.

So…heres my salami and arugula sandwich, anyone who knows me knows I love the sandwich shop kirkwood mo. It is a little sad because we are not the best picnic packers.

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A little plain but it hit the spot.

Dolores Park was dead because SF had a Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park and O(a)ktoberfest in Oakland.

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PS: The guy in my picture is one of my new roommates. He is also half Chinese and half white! What are the chances? I don’t meet a Hapa very often but I get excited when I do. As of today, I personally know six. Let me know if you know any so I can meet them, please. 🙂

Saturday was probably my last Dolores run of the year. It was a good end of a run, since I already went more than a few times this summer. Although this weekend was so hot that chickens laid hard-boiled eggs, I know it is going to cool off soon and rain weather will shortly be upon us. I’ll be back next year for the Hunky Jesus contest.

We all packed up and left when the sun was barely visible. I was craving chicken, so we headed to the Mission. While walking to the restaurant, I let out the most dramatic and cheerful scream when I saw THIS.

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The Creme Brûlée Cart opened a brick and mortar store!! Bloggers, you can have your Froyo because I am Team Creme Brûlée, all the way baby. You are probably sick and tired of hearing about it but nothing makes me happier then cracking the sugar glaze open.

The sign does not lie, it was one of my top 5 Best Days Ever. I am a little scared because now there will be nothing stopping me from eating one everyday.

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Look at that technique. It is making me want to get dressed and head over there right now.

I was actually a little nervous about telling people they had a store because I do not want to have to wait in a long line like every other delicious desert place in the city.

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And since I ate it before taking a picture, here is an old picture of the Berry Compote Traditional Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée. I think it’s my new favorite flavor, after just traditional vanilla bean.

I wish I had more to show you but on Sunday, I was cooped up inside the house studying for upcoming tests. Since I like sharing my wealth of knowledge, did you know that the average person eats 46 slices of pizza a year?

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I think I reached my allowance a few months ago.

Here’s to pizza!

Know any cool food facts? How was the weather in your hood this weekend?

Three’s Company

Everyone believes they were the cutest kid ever, but is it truly narcissistic of me to really think I was the most adorable?

I was reminiscing on my childhood, decided to dust off the old photo-albums and take a stroll down memory lane.

Also, I do not think that way of myself now (because adults are never as cute as children, unfortunately), but I mean come on…

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Stop it.

I do admit though, I had a few awkward stages before five. My hair did not grow in until I was ~two years old, I mainly dressed like a Chinese boy and my mom cut my bangs by placing a piece of scotch tape horizontally across and cutting it off with scissors. You can see the unevenness in the bottom left picture, thanks mom…

Moving on, look at what I spotted while going out Friday night. Yes, it is the Creme Brûlée Cart! I know it’s going to be a good week when I get to eat creme brûlée twice in a week. I forgot that they park in the Castro late nights.

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I am a traditional vanilla bean girl myself, but how can I resist a berry compote? It was as if heaven rained down, fired the torch to glaze the sugar, blew me a kiss and floated back up. As if all the evil on earth decided to take a day off and only delicious and positive energy stayed. It felt like the warmth of blowing out candles on a birthday cake with all of your favorite people surrounding you.

It was magical. I might of even went back and got another one, which would not have been too difficult because I finished it before we started the car.

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I feel bad for the caprese salad pictured below because it has to compete with my ode to creme brûlée, but it also looks pretty sexy if I say so myself.

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I also ate at Company on Guerrero St. over the weekend. I have been meaning to try this place because I wanted to visit a certain someone…

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The decor is very…my mind draws a blank. What kind of vintage of this restaurant and logo font? Help a girl out here.

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My friend Cal was our waiter! He has worked there for the longest time and I’m so thrilled to finally get a chance to experience the A++ service.

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He gave us a tasting of the Crispy Confit Chicken Wings w/ red jalapeños and basil. A little too sweet for my taste but still enjoyable overall.

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I was so excited when this came, the Steak Frites with parmesan-herb frites, cab reduction and chimichurri sauce. It was cooked to perfection and I almost didn’t share. The Company was offering a $25 prefix for two plates of your choice (picking between appetizer, entree and desert), so I picked a main plate and after sweets. I had to add an additional cost for the steak but I have no regrets.

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Last but not least, the orange buttermilk Panna Cotta with raspberry and rose syrup.

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Hate to cut this post short but Breaking Bad starts in exactly three more minutes. Wouldn’t miss it for the world!

EDIT: Just came back from watching BrBa. I don’t know how I feel.

How cute was I on a 10 scale? Also, Breaking Bad open discussion in comments (no spoilers for people who haven’t watched it yet). Feelings on this episode?

Sunday Funday

Okay, so I am not going to lie to you. I spent my Saturday night…wait for it…watching a documentary on Alexander the Great and falling asleep before 10:30pm. I woke up feeling like I took first place for the ultimate grandma award.

Thankfully, my Sunday was a little more eventful. I studied for a few hours in the morning before I got ready to meet my friends at Off The Grid!

San Francisco has been having the absolute best weather this week, I’m talking 80° hot! I know many of you around the world are rolling your eyes because either: 1.) 80° is not hot or 2.) 80° is unbearable.

Well sister, I have news for you. Anything over 70° in San Francisco is a cause for celebration, like leaving work early or putting on your best pair of shorts. Also, our warm weather is quite enjoyable because we don’t have to deal with that humidity problem you East Coasters and half-way-around-the-worlders complain about. Think of having rays of sun shine on you with a slight cool breeze. Perfect.

We were a little worried when we arrived because Karl The Fog made an unexpected visit just right above our patch of grass. (Side eyeing you, Karl). However, the fog didn’t stop us from giving the picnic a chance. We even got to watch the America’s Cup ships roll by, which you can see if you squint your eyes really hard and look past the palm trees in the picture below.

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Jacque and Maresa were really excited to get a Bloody Mary bucket, so we claimed our spot on the grass and went straight to purchase one. It comes with a complimentary bucket, enough BM for four people and a mixture of pickles, peppers and something else I forgot. Celery perhaps?

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We didn’t want to wait in a long line because everyone was starving. Jacq and Maresa went on a morning hike, Bailey had a light breakfast and I’m just hungry all the time. However, all stands except one had a 20+ minute line, so we spread out to maximize our time.

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I chose to get fried chicken, because honestly, who doesn’t love fried chicken? (Besides vegetarians of course.) The empanadas next door were tempting, but I had two at the Farmer’s Market last week and wanted to try something new.

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Maresa and I shared the fried chicken and pulled pork sandwich while Jacq and Bailey shared something from the Indian food truck. I peeped over and saw potatoes and green beans, but I was so focused on my own food I would not of noticed if someone took off all their clothes and started dancing near me.

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First to finish! I love this picture.

If I had to caption this photo: Bailey is surprised at a joke Maresa made, while Jacque is intently trying to finish her glass of wine so she can open a second bottle.

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The sky looks like it’s going to fall down, but I promise it was not that foggy the whole day! It was mostly blue skies with Karl weaving in and out for the few hours we were there.

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An elementary school kid came to each blanket and asked if we wanted to purchase chocolate to help her fundraiser. I can never say no to them, so I bought a round for the girls. Can someone teach me how to not give in? I must of bought at least 15 of these chocolates in the last month. Aug/Sept is a rough month for my candy budget.

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What I really came here to blog about was the Creme Brûlée cart! Although they expanded past the cart and into an actual brick and mortar store, I hold the biggest place in my heart for them. As I mentioned in this award post, creme brûlée is my favorite desert in the whole world. Panna Cotta is a close second and I will indulge occasionally, but creme brûlée all the way!

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Look at that technique. We ordered one of each so we can do a mini-tasting.

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Ta-da! We paid for one traditional vanilla bean (my choice), Yes Please (Bailey’s choice), Uh-Oh Oreo (Maresa’s choice) and Grown-Ass Woman Special (Jacq’s choice).

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Our original plan was to take the tin ramekins to-go and eat it on the way to the car. However, once we saw how delicious and warm they looked, all four of us abruptly sat down on the grass and took a bite of each one and passed it clockwise. I’m pretty sure we all agreed it was the best part of our day.

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Of course we had to do a desert cheers before we ate! It’s the best kind of cheers if you ask me.

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After getting a quick tan and talking about everything under the sun, we headed back to Jacque’s house to have wine and cheese on her roof top. She actually has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, but it is flawlessly hidden by the fog. Karl, you win again.

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Do you enjoy creme brûlée? If so, what toppings would you put on yours? How was the weather in your hood?